Joplin man receives shock incarceration on felony firearm offense

Mar. 25—A Jasper County judge sentenced a 56-year-old Joplin man Monday to 120 days of shock time in prison on a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon.

Judge Dean Dankelson assessed Marcell Davis Jr. a sentence of seven years at a sentencing hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court, with the term to be served in the state's shock-incarceration program and the court to review the case after 120 days for possible placement of the defendant on probation.

Davis entered an Alford plea to the charge Jan. 16 in a plea deal dismissing related counts of delivery of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. An Alford plea admits no guilt but acknowledges the probability of a conviction if the matter were to proceed to trial. The Jasper County prosecutor's office agreed not to oppose the possibility of probation as a part of the deal.

The defendant was arrested in August 2021 following a disturbance in the 300 block of South Connor Avenue in Joplin. A man and woman told police they went to an address there looking for two other people and Davis pulled a gun on them.

A search warrant was obtained on Davis' room at the address, and a 9 mm handgun and about 3 ounces of marijuana purportedly were seized. Davis has prior convictions — in Texas for burglary and in Missouri for driving while intoxicated — and is prohibited from possessing firearms.